(Here is A Reprint of an article on Joint Ventures in which I was
featured from the ProfitSpace Newsletter)

eCoach Unplugged
Friday September 12, 2003
(C) Copyright 2003 Denise Ryder

Not too long ago, I asked you to fire in any questions you
had about Joint Ventures. So, today we are going to tackle
a couple of those questions and of course go over a few things
to keep in mind.

The first and foremost point I want you to remember is this…

You do NOT necessarily have to have a list, in order to arrange
a Joint Venture.

There are two members of ProfitSpace, Steve Boutelle “The
Premiere Info-Strategist”, and David Thompson, who are prime
examples that you do not need a list to make a Joint Venture
work.

Steve, saw an opportunity to bring two other people into a Joint
Venture and of course in the process was able to achieve a goal he
was looking at meeting.

David, didn’t have a list, but he did have a product and through his
determination sent out a message to some publishers to see if they
would be interested in a possible Joint Venture with him.

I know that what I have just said is rather vague in the way that they
achieved their JVs and you may be thinking…great, this column doesn’t
give me anything to work with. Well, read further and you will have
plenty to work with.

Keep in mind though, that the key to Joint Ventures is being open and
keeping your eyes open for opportunities or possible opportunities, as
Steve and David did.

When I come across people in my circles and networks, I tend to go
to their web sites and take the time to see what they are all about. If
there is something we can do together, then I will email them and say
“hey, this is what I have and this is what I do. I see you do _____,
how do you feel about maybe working together on ____?

My personal belief is this…it is always worth a shot to try, if the person
you contact comes back and says…no, then fine. But, if you don’t try
that’s a NO already, right? So, give it a shot.

Ok, so now I hope to have you in the mindset that regardless of the
fact that you have no list, go for it anyways…

Now, with that said, with what? What can you possibly offer that
someone would want to JV with you on.

So, go through this little process, it will help you:

1. Look at what you have in your “tickle trunks” (come on now remember
Mr. Dress Up??). See what you have that would be of value to others,
and of course that they would be willing to pay for.

This could be reprint rights to an eBook (and remember a current eBook,
NOT one that has been circulated…that won’t work). It could be software.
In the case of Steve, you could see two other people who could JV
together and through linking them up and being the middleman for a bit
to get the dance of the JV going. (I’ll explain what Steve got out of it in
a second).

The important thing is that you need something of value to trade of
set up a JV with.

2. Determine what it is that you need. Do you need money? If so
determine how much. Do you need subscribers, ok fine, how many
would you like? When you determine your needs, you now have a
aim or goal to shoot for.

As in the case of Steve, he came out with a few information
products that will certainly help him and of course experience in
the process of bringing two people together in a JV. He was the
JV Broker you might say.

3. Not everyone has what you need, right? So you need to determine
who has what you want. If it is the case of subscribers, then of course
you would want publishers of newsletters. Remember it isn’t just who
has what I need that is important…It is also who has the type of
customers I want.

You can’t very well go to a publisher that targets dog owners and set
up a JV selling nutritional supplements for humans…it doesn’t mix.
You can however, find a publisher with a focus on health and nutrition,
that is your mix.

This works for whatever it is that you are looking to achieve.

4. How do you get what you want? That is the question. You know
what you have to offer, you know who has what you want, now comes
time to see if they are open to JVs in the first place. Send them a quick
message and ask them that first. If they come back and say “sure, what
did you have in mind,” then…From there, you can send them an email,
introduce yourself, explain why you are emailing them and set the offer
for your possible JV. Make this message personable, really take the
time to create an atmosphere of being a good win/win. They will come
back and either say yes to your offer, or perhaps counter your JV, if
it is still well within your capabilities then you just go from there.

I refer to it as a “dance,” because sometimes that is what happens,
you go back and forth and come up with a win/win. You must
understand though that it might not always work out, in which case,
no biggie, because you know there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Another thing to remember is that you may have to give a little more
than you may have anticipated to get what it is that you want. That
decision to give more of course is totally within your power to say
yes or no too. If you feel that you just can’t then fine…go back to
your JV partner and explain your situation.

Ok, a couple of questions ;o)

What is the difference between joint ventures and
partnerships?

Hmmm… in essence a JV is a partnership, however, usually you
are in it for a short-term, or to achieve a specific goal within a
set time. For example, joint venturing with other publishers in
a contest to obtain more subscribers that will be wrapped up
by a set date.

The running of a few solo ads to promote an eBook or piece of
software, where you end up receiving a commission on the books
you sell…etc.

A partnership is more involved. In a partnership you come together
with perhaps skill sets which compliment one another and you
enter into an agreement to partner together. For example, a
copywriter and graphic artist may enter into a partnership or form
an alliance. Their skills compliment one another and their customers
can each benefit from the skills that each possesses.

When you enter into a partnership you need to be very specific as
to the terms of the alliance. Who is to do what, how each customer
is to be handled and of course how each project is to be handled.
It is a more involved arrangement, than a typical JV would be.

Can you approach the “Big” names with JV’s, or will you be
ignored?

Good question and one that many people have the attitude “Nah,
there is no way that _____ will JV with me, they are such a big
name and I am far from that.”

Again, as I said above, the only way you are going to know for sure
is if you try, right? The worse they will do is come back and say no.
If they happen to say no, hopefully, they will explain why and perhaps
take on a more “helping” approach giving you some ideas as to what
you need to do for them to say yes. However, if you don’t try, then it
will always be a no, right??

Just think your Joint Venture offer through. Put yourself in their shoes,
when you write your JV explain what’s in it for them and of course if
you have to offer a little more than what you are getting in return, don’t
look at that is being “played.” In some of the JVs I have arranged I have
given far more to get what I wanted…because it was the end means that
meant more.

Another thing to remember about your JVs is to know that you are NOT
the only one they receive each day. They receive many and typically
they are all pretty much the same…sell my book and get 40-50% of the
commission.

Think about that offer for a second. Essentially, you are asking a person
to recommend your book, on your say so that it delivers. I am NOT saying
that your book doesn’t deliver, however, you are asking them for their
endorsement. If you do not give them a copy of the eBook to read, so they
can write an honest endorsement…well you will get a no for sure.

Gurus and you too, worked hard to create a good reputation, to endorse
something without reading it, is a quick way to have your trust and rapport
hit bottom.

The bottom-line in Joint Venturing and in getting the people who have what
you want, is to write a Joint Venture that they will stand up and take notice
of. Like anything else, and JVs are no different, you need to ensure that you
stand apart from the pack. That your JV IS going to be read and it will give
you what you want.

The only way you are going to learn to become good at the JV process
is to try them. Don’t be afraid, if you want to target a Guru, target them,
be personable, make note of something of theirs you have read, just be
yourself. Don’t go the form letter route, you can smell that a mile away
and they will be tossed for sure. It’s a bit of a pain but if you want the JV
bad enough, you will write each on a personal approach. If they see you
took the time, they will take the time too.

Good luck…you’ll do great!!

Stephen Boutelle

View posts by Stephen Boutelle
Online Marketing Specialist helping small business owners discover "How to Create Your OWN Brand of Success."